Name: Kimmy McAtee and Nathan Bell
Location: Downtown Arts District — Los Angeles, California
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months — Rent
Practically brand new residents to this space, Kimmy and Nathan relocated from a nearby loft only a few blocks away. Their love of downtown Los Angeles and the arts district keeps them inspired and always involved in local events and their new home is a perfect space for entertaining and gathering.
Kimmy and Nathan's home exudes restraint, with a minimalism that somehow remains highly personal to them. With their adorable pugs, who are clearly the most valuable part of their home to their incredible collection of artwork, everything has meaning and says volumes about their personal tastes. Kimmy says the most essential part of designing a home is "creating a space that we want to live in. It has to be functional - and allow both of us do what we need to do. But of course you want a good design aesthetic - you want to come home and be happy and host your friends."
When you live this close to the evolving artist district it's easy to be involved in everything that's happening around you; the culture, the city, the local music scene and of course the arts. "Being that Nathan is an artist and DJ we have a space to do screen-printing and make things as well as host an entire wall of records. Kimmy is in marketing and the editor of the Keep A Breast magazine working to create all the content for KAB. All the space and natural light is amazing for photo shoots and videos. The kitchen island was a must have as we love having our friends over."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Recreational, Art Driven, Personal.
The loft speaks to our style - it's very easy to get a sense of who we are just from a few minutes inside.
Inspiration: We draw inspiration from the pieces that we own. We are both casual collectors to a degree. Nathan calls me a "Chair Whore" but I just love furniture - in the eight years we have been together I have owned 13 sofas - seriously. Nathan collects vinyl and moonlights as a DJ at Tony's, a local bar. We find a lot of inspiration from our jobs and friends; in fact, our own friends have created a large proportion of the art we have collected throughout the years. For the most part, we look at all the rad things that we accumulated and decide how to showcase them in the best way and let it organically shape the way each "room" is built.
Favorite Element: The space. It has enabled us to roll our motorcycle into the loft and to put a swing in the middle of the room without disrupting any flow or us feeling overwhelmed - we love that.
Biggest Challenge: We moved into the loft in the middle of a heat wave. Everyone wonders why we didn't put the bedroom upstairs - or an office. But it was ridiculously hot - like that unbearable Bikram yoga hot. So, we decided to convert it into a walk in closet instead - the perfect solution since both of us have extensive wardrobes.
Another challenge we overcame was just moving in together - the challenge was balancing our separate lives, spaces, and the clothing line we had together. A lot of heated conversations about space, and what (or who) got priority. Oddly it took moving into a loft - where we had no walls and no way to get away from each other - to actually find that spatial harmony.
What Friends Say: Everyone always walks in and notices the swing. At first people seem to be baffled as to why we would have a swing - most people love it - and the haters are always quick to start swinging and instagramming photos of how high they can go.
Biggest Embarrassment: Pug hair... on everything. One time we had a furniture designer walk into our space and freaked out on our Ligne Roset sofa. It's a super expensive sofa that Kimmy was in love with and somehow scored at an estate sale for only a few hundred dollars. People are sometimes appalled at how we would let the dogs play all over it. But what can we say - they do what they want. We are total pushover dog lovers.
Proudest DIY: Can we say our proudest DIY is hiring our friend Sven to build half the furniture in the space? He built the bed, swing, kitchen island, the coat rack / hidden shelf, and the closet. He is a very talented, awesome human being.
Biggest Indulgence: That is a hard one - we have slowly accumulated things over time, thrifting and getting deals or convincing friends to build things... we also shop on sites like Gilt.com or at Target. We both work for a non-profit so we tend not to indulge. If you add everything up we would have to say our biggest indulgence would be Nathan's record addiction.
Best Advice: Inspiration is closer than you might realize. Almost all the art we own is by friends or things we have done ourselves and they all have a story or a meaning to us. The bottom line we think is to not own anything you don't love.
PAINT & COLORS
• Coat rack is made by Sven Barth
• Bench is thrifted
• Lockers are thrifted
• sofa is Ligne Roset
• architect cabinet (coffee table) Ligne Roset
• fiberglass shell chair rocker - Modernica
• IKEA bookshelves for records
• kitchen island by Sven Barth
• kitchen chevron / Americana stuff by Curiosity Shoppe for Target
• Art - Miranda July, Ben Horton, Travis Millard, Mark "Fos" Foster, Mike Maxwell, Hershel Baltrotsky, Michael Coleman, Lyle Wessels, Jim McHugh, Chad Foreman, Jay Howell, kozyndan, Scott Benzel, Ed Templeton, Kyle MayNerd Lunneborg, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Milton Glaser, Michael Buchino, Andy Jenkins, Nathan Bell. And a bunch others that I can't name off the top of my head, so I am sorry (and get more legible signatures).
• We both work for the Keep A Breast Foundation (Nathan as Art Director, myself as the VP of PR and Marketing) - www.keep-a-breast.org
We own a small clothing line together - www.thisisponyattack.com
Nathan has a amazing beard accessories line called Beard Buddy. www.beard-buddy.com
Thanks, Kimmy and Nathan!
Images: Bethany Nauert
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